Monday, October 24, 2016

Tuesday of St Benedict - Matins in the Office of St Benedict

St Benedict, Servandus and the death of Bishop Germanus (Dialogues ch 35)

I noted a few weeks ago that on 'unimpeded Tuesdays' and Office of St Benedict used to be said, and described First Vespers of that Office. Today I want to look at the Matins of this Office.

It would be lovely to see this custom revived, not least because one can't help but think its abolition contributed to the loss of any sense of St Benedict as a real person and founder of the Order in so many monasteries in the twentieth century. At Matins, for example, the readings included a series of extracts from the Life of St Benedict by St Gregory the Great.

At the very least, we can say some of its prayers, or say it devotionally - and if you do, can I urge you to offer it for the new Benedictine foundation being established in Australia?

Matins of St Benedict on Tuesdays

 The invitatory antiphon (for Psalm 94) is Regem confessorum Dominum Venite Exsultemus Iie from the Common of Confessors).

The hymn is Quidquid antiqui, which you can listen to below.  The text can be found in the Liber Hymnarius for the feast of St Benedict on 21 March.

The psalms and antiphons are of Saturday, and there are three readings with responsories.

The three responsories are:

1. R.  Sanctus Benedictus plus appetiit mala mundi perpeti quam laudes atque pro deo laboribus fatigari *quam vitae hujus favoribus extolli.
V. Divina namque praeventus gratia, magis ac magis ad superna animo suspirabat
*quam vitae hujus favoribus extolli.
(Nb: the chant can be found in the Processionale monasticum)

2. R. O laudanda sancti Benedicti merita gloriosa qui dum pro Christo patriam mundique sprevit pompam adeptus omnium contubernium beatorum *et particeps factus praemiorum aeternorum
V. Inter choros Confessorum splendidum possided locum et ipsum fontem omnium intuetur bonorum.

(Chant in the Liber Responsorialis for the transit of St Benedict)

3. R:Sanctissime confessor Christi Benedicte, monachorum pater et dux * intercede pro nostra omniumque salute.
V. Devote plebi subveni santa intercessione, ut tuis adjuta precibus regna consequatur.
 Intercede pro nostra omniumque salute.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto
Intercede pro nostra omniumque salute.

(Chant in the Liber Responsorialis for the transit of St Benedict)

The readings for the Office were different for each month, and I've put the appropriate ones for October up in full over at my Lectio Divina blog, but they basically consist of 2 Corinthians 12:1-6 (reading 1) and then chapter 35 of St Gregory's Dialogues Bk II, divided into two readings.

The collect is:

Excita Domine, in Ecclesia tua Spiritum, cui beatus Pater noster Benedictus Abbas servivit; ut eodem nos repleti studeamus amare quod docuit.  Per unitate ejusdem Spiritus.

Raise up, O Lord, in thy Church, the Spirit wherewith our holy Father Benedict was animated: that, filled with the same,  we may strive to love what he loved, and to practise what he taught.  Through Christ...


Zhin said...

Hi Kate,

I attempted to pray matins this morning with my 1939 Monastic Breviary for the 21st of March Feast. Where do I find the readings that you have put up here? Is it in a much earlier edition?


Kate Edwards said...

Yes I'm afraid you will only find the Office in pre-1910 breviaries. Votive Offices were abolished by Pius X and the Benedictines followed the Roman Office on this front. They were only revived in 1970, with the liturgy of the hours.

You can now buy very cheap reproductions of many of the older breviaries (via Abebooks for example) and take it from there. Alternatively, in the interim I've put the English of the readings up over at my other blog:

Unfortunately, while I'm sure there must be one, I can't find an online version of St Gregory's Dialogues in Latin other than Mignre, which doesn't easily facilitate cutting and pasting from!).

I will put up the November readings on Psallam Domino as well though, once we reach the next unimpeded Tuesday.

And when I have time I might try and put together a pdf of all the texts needed for the Office so they can be found in one place (probably won't be for a while though).

Zhin said...

Thanks a lot Kate. I've managed to order (still waiting) for an 1885 Cistercian Breviary. I hope there's something in there for a votive office. St Scholastica's as well? Perhaps.


Kate Edwards said...

Hope so, and would expect that there is, but I'm afraid I don't know much about the Cistercian liturgy, old or new! Obviously has a common core with Benedictines, but lots of differences in the chant tones, antiphons etc I think.